JAMMU: The people of Jammu and Kashmir got a rude shock today with the administration modifying the registration and toll tax on different makes of vehicles purchased or procured from other states in three specified installments—quarterly, half-yearly and annually. The ‘punishment’ will have retrospective effect from August 1, 2019. The shocker came from the dispensation, remotely controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party at a time the automobile industry is facing tough times in general and the people are grappling with the lockdown due to corona virus, putting economic activities in standstill. The measure will most likely hit Jammu the most, which is already suffering the discrimination with vehicle owners parting with hard earned bucks at four toll plazas in comparison to one in the Valley.
Why is Jammu suffering most under the BJP, a party that remained up in arms against the Congress, the National Conference and the PDP for better part of the past over seven decades. Discrimination with Jammu has been a major political plank of the BJP, which is why the entire region had transformed as its stronghold with the passage of time. The BJP swept the polls—both Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly post 2014 Narendra Modi wave. It got into the ladder of power with arch rival PDP in 2019, all due to Modi magic. But it failed on the front of deliverance, making Jammu the worst sufferer. What an irony, the so-called Messiahs turned out to be the Villains for Jammu. The BJP here has proven to be the paper tigers, who know only to give sermons and practically do nothing for the Jammu region. The much flaunted Tawi River Beautification Project, Jammu Gandola, Jammu Smart City and Jammu AIIMS projects taken up under the BJP are turning just illusion than reality. These projects are nowhere near completion. This is not all that Jammu is facing.
What could be the extent of discrimination than making Jammu to pay for the services that are utilized by the entire Union Territory? Last week, the administration under the Lt. Governor, which is practically, if not technically, representing the BJP led government at the Centre, reviewed the progress of Smart Meter Installation in the Union Territory as part of privatizing the power sector. Significantly, it was decided to procure Smart Power Meters for installation.
According to an official handout issued on May 27, 2020, “The Principal Secretary (PDD) informed that out of 1.15 lakh meters, 80,000 would be installed in Jammu Division and 35,000 in Kashmir Division, while the installation would be carried out in a phased manner.” What is the crieteron or the motivating factor to have more than double such meters installed in Jammu than Srinagar? Most of the smart transformers are likely to be installed in the government establishments in the summer capital because the Valley had said ‘No’ to digital meters installed by WIPRO a few years ago. That decision had been carried out by the PDP-BJP dispensation and the people of Jammu had given concession to the latter for being a junior partner in the Kashmir centric government. The core constituency here had never ever in their wildest dreams even thought that BJP would ditch them for the power politics. Remember how the Centre came forward with a huge package of Rs 8,000 crore for procurement of apple in the wake of disturbed situation post August 5 developments. Has any such ‘philanthropic approach’ been adopted for Jammu?
The BJP has made the people of Jammu think that the
Kashmiri centric Congress, NC and PDP were perhaps better for this region as
lesser discrimination compared to the saffron party was inflicted with the
unfortunate populace. In fact, the people here want the government other than
that of the BJP.
Jammu has all along been suffering—unfortunately most under the dispensations controlled by the BJP. Take for instance the status of roads in a city that remains destination for over 12 million people, thronging from across the country for paying obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi or holidaying in Kashmir, every year. This discipline of the governmental activity remains priority only during the winter when the Royal Darbar descends on the scene with much fanfare. No sooner it moves to Srinagar, Jammuites witness mutilation of the roads. Power, drinking water and more importantly roads are going to be nightmarish for the upcoming half year. Currently most of the Jammu areas are reeling under unscheduled power cuts. These are tip of the iceberg. The list of discrimination with Jammu is long. Governance has all along been a far cry for the Jammu region. It is worse now, ironically at the hands of those, who kept yelling ‘discrimination, discrimination, from roof-tops. Jammu has a tragedy of leadership deficit. Most of those claiming to be leaders are in fact bunch of sycophants who are designed to play second fiddle to their Kashmir centric masters.
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